Parents often find it difficult to talk to their children about their estate plans. It can be difficult to talk at length about personal resources and finances with adult children who have begun running their own households. Many adult children anticipate receiving a certain amount of their parents’ assets and may count on that inheritance when planning for the future.
Especially in scenarios where a parent intends to leave more resources to one child than others or to disinherit someone, they will likely have a few difficult conversations ahead of them. Some people delay those conversations and end up causing major conflicts after they die. How do parents effectively communicate with their adult children about their estate planning intentions?
Talk at length with beneficiaries
If family members understand your estate plan, the easier it will be to minimize conflict in the future. How to go about having those conversations can be vastly different depending on individual circumstances.
In some families, it may be realistic to talk to everyone at once about your estate plan. Others may benefit from sitting down with each beneficiary individually. Regardless of which approach you intend to take, it is usually important to communicate with everyone in the family, particularly the adult children.
Otherwise, the expectations of certain individuals might lead to probate litigation. Adult children who know the details of how a parent intends to split up their property and what resources each child will receive can have years to come to terms with the decisions.
Having those difficult discussions with family members is one of the most effective means of eliminating probate litigation among them after you’re gone. Having sound legal guidance as you develop your estate plan can also help.